by Pushp Jain (Posted: February 8, 2013)
Two Public Hearings for Ultratech Cement Limited located at Hirmi Village of Baloda Bazar, Bhatapara District of Chhattisgarh State in India are proposed to be conducted at 10:00 am and 12:00 pm respectively, on 8 February 2012 at village Hirmi for : 1. 997.355 hectare mining lease area (4.2 MTPA) and 2. Expansion of Integrated Cement Project.
There are many issues e.g. air and noise pollution, threat to the catchment area of a local stream, health impacts on a village located nearby and shoddy implementations of Corporate Social Responsibility, related to these projects which are of concern.
In fact, on 6 July 2012 the Cement Plant was shut down by the Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board (CECB) on violation of air pollution control norms. With this kind of track record and such issues, these projects should be opposed by one and all. We may point out that Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India, has issued an Office Memorandum on 19 April 2010 directing all State Pollution Control Boards to ensure that the Public Hearings for different projects are not scheduled to be held on the same date, time and venue. The Boards have to ensure that even if the Public Hearings for different projects are being held at the same venue on the same day, there must be a sufficient gap of time provided between two Hearings. In the present situation there is only two hour gap between two public hearings which is not sufficient. It amount to virtually compromising the spirit of the Public Hearing process.
(For detailed note you can visit ERC website also.)